Notes from Jan

Cane and Able

May 21, 2016

Our ship docked in Tallinn, Estonia about 8:00 Friday May 20th. Actually, there’s no such thing as about when on a ship.  We tied up exactly at 8:00 a.m.

The morning sun, up since 4:36, highlighted the towers and red rooftops of the  medieval Old Towns, Upper and Lower. I marveled at the privilege of seeing new places from my balcony on a cruise ship, something unimaginable to me as a preacher’s kid in rural Georgia.

Growing up,our big treat was to drive into Atlanta to the Varsity Grill.  We’d drive up, pull into a  spot where Daddy’d roll down his window and we’d order: hot dogs, fried peach pies with banana ice cream.  As a kid I thought, “We’re Rich!”

All I had to do was look around to know better.  But, in all that mattered, we were rich. Very.

My balky knee rebelled as I hobbled up and down cobblestones in Tallinn.  You know you’re in trouble when folks you thought were handicapped start offering you their cane.  Their arm.  Their perspective.

“Is it your hip?”

“No, it’s my knee.  I’m going to get it replaced after I get home.”

“Have you thought about asking the guide where you can buy a walking stick or something?”

“Here, take my arm.  I’m happy  to walk with you.”

The kindness of strangers.

That’s the first time I almost dissolved into a puddle, slipping from  focusing on all I have to what is no more. I missed Jud’s strong arms,  hands, sturdy legs,  stable knees. Hmmm, so many parts!  Where to begin? What to exclude?


Like my friend, Lorna, said, “I had no idea how profoundly deaf I was until after Rod died.”  And I, lame and lamenting, miss Jud’s steady hand in my life.

It came to me that I was worrying folks. Any who commented did so out of kindness and concern.  I was and am grateful.

Once back on board, I headed to the medical facility to see if they had a cane.  They did for a mere $13.00.

Such a deal.

Cane and able.

At least, able-er.


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  • Reply Dale Lefever May 22, 2016 at 2:03 am

    If you go the disability route, be careful about those people with cameras that want to put you on the nightly news as they film you jogging around the mall.



  • Reply Wendy Lane May 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Even though your focus slips occasionally (understandably!) to what is no more, you are so faithful to bring your focus back to what you do have – over, and over and over. And you bring along the rest of us to a higher level as you do. <3

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